Straw Applique artist Diana Moya-Lujan from Santa Fe, New Mexico, painstakingly creates an indelible image of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe from tiny pieces of natural straw glued to a carved wooden background. Joining her in a three generation celebration of their art are daughter Lenise Martinez and granddaughter Hannah Lujan y Davis.
Juanito Jimenez has been painting Santos with pigment paints he made himself from naturally occurring clays for more than forty years. In this video he teaches a student how to collect these clays from a colorful quarry near Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu New Mexico, how to use a binder to make the pigments into paints, and how to apply these paints to a gesso coated board.
Roberto Contreras Senior and Junior are carrying on a long family tradition at their rancho in Northern Sonora- making Bacanora! This smoky and seductive agave spirit, long a treasured gift and necessity at fiestas and family gatherings is today finally making its way to a world market ever more fascinated by the variety of agave spirits made throughout Mexico. To support the work of The Wisdom Archive, you can buy a rare and delicious Extra Añejo version of the Contreras' Bacanora at forsippingonly.com, or donate at: http://thewisdomarchive.com/donate
Though perhaps the most culturally ancient state in the union, New Mexico is fast losing its traditional masters. Now you can share early morning with three who are still with us. These excerpts from Los Comanches de la Serna, La Huerta de Don Bustos, and The Last Shepherds are truly a primer on what The Wisdom Archive is all about...
Los Matachines are ritual dance dramas performed in Hispano, Pueblo and Genizaro (mixed Spanish and Native) communities throughout New Mexico. On June 15th, 2019, the Matachine dancers of San Antonio, New Mexico danced half a mile uphill to the village ojito to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the founding of their Genizaro community, Cañón del Carnué, and then back down the hill to their home church, San Antonio de Padua Mission.
Raicilla is a type of Mezcal made in the Western Sierra of Jalisco Mexico.It is often made from a type of agave called "Lechuguilla", which is harvested and then cooked in a huge above ground horno made of brick and adobe. Manuel Salcedo, from the town of Mascota, is one of Mexico's foremost producers of raicilla, and in this film he shares his knowledge and love for the plant and the process he uses to make this ancient and powerful spirit.
"A Year in The Life of a Traditional New Mexican Farm" follows organic farmer Don Bustos as the seasons unfold across the four and a half acres he and his ancestors have tended for the past 400 years. Over the course of a year he uses knowledge passed down over generations to tend the acequia, raise chile and blue corn from ancient seed stocks, and guide a new generation of farmers who share his calling to honor the earth and feed the community.
Don Bustos and Camila Trujillo of Santa Cruz Farm make the "Perfect" chile ristra while fondly remembering its importance in Northern New Mexico and their lives. A teaser for the longer Wisdom Archive film, "La Huerta de Don Bustos", about Don and his more than four hundred year old traditional farm in Santa Cruz, New Mexico.
It's early morning and close to Christmas at Santa Cruz Farm. Don Bustos and Camila Trujillo work together to make "Perfect" blue corn atole for their breakfast. As usual in Northern New Mexico, there is some red chile involved! A teaser for the longer Wisdom Archive film, "La Huerta de Don Bustos", about Don and his more than four hundred year old traditional farm in Santa Cruz, New Mexico.
Traditional "Herbera" Camila Trujillo shares the recipe for her Grandma Tonita's beans- so good you can eat them "Tres Veces al Día!" Secret ingredients include a micaceous clay bean pot or "Frijolera", and the much sought after southwestern native herb, "Chimaja".
Red Chile Sauce is the archetypal traditional New Mexican condiment- a little or a lot makes almost all traditional foods better! At 400 year old Santa Cruz Farm fresh dried, roasted, and milled chiles grown from heirloom seeds are the secret ingredient. Watch as Don Bustos and Camila Trujillo share their recipe, perfected over generations, for making their "Perfect" red chile sauce...
Francisco Florian has been guiding people around his native Guatemala for fifty years. In this video he shows a group of visitors to Tikal some "secrets of the jungle"- native plants with curative powers as learned and passed down to him through many generations of indigenous "curandero" and "herbero" ancestors.
Don Marcos Gallego has been in the Panela (traditional Colombian sugar) business all his life. In this short film he visits his "trapiche", (a water driven sugar mill) now run by his son Iván, and gives us a tour. You can almost smell the cane sugar juice as it caramelizes!
Mother Marie Wilcox and daughter Jennifer Malone are the last living speakers of Wukchumni, the indigenous language of a band of the Yokut tribe from the California foothills close to the Yosemite Valley. As they collect materials and teach basket weaving to family members and members of neighboring tribes, they inject optimism and humor into cultural revival. Produced and Directed by Christopher Beaver (firstname.lastname@example.org) Running time 28 minutes.
Lone Piñon is a New Mexican "orquesta tipica" whose music celebrates the integrity of their region's cultural roots. Jordan Wax and Noah Martinez, as Lone Piñon, have studied with elder regional musicians in creating their own repertoire of Northern New Mexican music. In this short film by Lucia Duncan, produced for the "Musica Buena" exhibit at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe New Mexico, (running through 2021) Jordan and Noah learn from the legend Antonia Apodaca and play their brand of New Mexican String Band Music.
The "Entriega del Bautismo" is a traditional ritual song that has been used for over 400 years in Northern New Mexico to officially welcome a newborn child into the community, and into the church. In an area where a Catholic priest may have visited a Hispanic New Mexican village only once a year for the first 300 years or so after its founding, the Entrega del Bautismo served to spiritually protect newborns until a priest could perform a formal baptism. This "Entrega del Bautismo" was performed by Cipriano Vigil in Ojo Caliente, New Mexico during the winter of 2018. Part of the "Music Buena" exhibit opening October 6th, 2019 at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, NM and running for the next two years.
Los Matachines are ritual dance dramas performed in Hispano, Pueblo and Genizaro (mixed Spanish and Native) communities throughout New Mexico. This film by Lucia Duncan was produced for the Museum of International Folk Art's "Musica Buena" exhibit in Santa Fe, New Mexico which runs through 2021. The film features footage from a historic Matachine performance in Bernalillo, along with modern day versions performed in Corrales and Picuris Pueblo, and at the San Antonio de Padua Mission. Commentary by noted Folklorist Enrique Lamadrid.
Antonia Apodaca and Cipriano Vigil, the eldest and best known performers of traditional Northern New Mexican music, jam together for the first time and produce this version of "Flor de las Flores". This old traditional song was once played widely in the dancehalls of New Mexico. An extract from the longer film, "An Intimate Afternoon of Music", that can be seen in its entirety here on The Wisdom Archive, this was prepared as part of the "Music Buena" exhibit opening October 6th, 2019 at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, NM and running for the next two years.
Antonia Apodaca and Cipriano Vigil, the eldest and best known performers of traditional Northern New Mexican music, jam together for the first time and produce this stirring rendition of "Frijolitos Pintos"- a traditional song by an anonymous author, with words in English courtesy of Antonia. An extract from the longer film, "An Intimate Afternoon of Music" that can be seen in its entirety here on The Wisdom Archive, this was prepared as part of the "Music Buena" exhibit opening October 6th, 2019 at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, NM and running for the next two years.
"Los Pastores" is a passion play about the birth of Christ performed in Hispanic New Mexico since the 1600's. This is an extract from a longer film by Judy Chaikin and Loren Stephens about the play as last performed by Arsenio Cordova and Larry Torres in 1995 at the beautiful old church in Trampas, New Mexico. This extract is part of the "Music Buena" exhibit opening October 6th, 2019 at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, NM and running for the next two years. To purchase a copy or download of the entire 30 minute original program, go to www.cinemaguild.com
"Los Moros y Cristianos" is a passion play performed on horseback in Hispanic New Mexico since the late 1500's. It tells the story of the Spanish King Philip's conquest of Grenada and the Moors in 1492. Compiled from super 8 film and old audio cassettes, this is "Los Moros y Cristianos" as last performed in Chimayo New Mexico in the late 1970's and early 1980's. Part of the "Music Buena" exhibit opening October 6th, 2019 at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, NM and running for the next two years.
The "Entriega del Difuncto" is a traditional ritual song that has been used for over 400 years in Northern New Mexico to say good bye to loved ones as a part of the funeral ceremony. Traditionally sung by "Los Hermanos", the members of the local Penitente Morada, here "Adíos Acompañamiento" is sung by Charles Carrillo, Hermano Mayor of the Morada in Abiquiu New Mexico. Part of the "Music Buena" exhibit opening October 6th, 2019 at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, NM and running for the next 2 years.
The "Entriega de los Novios" is a traditional ritual song that has been used for over 400 years in Northern New Mexico to officially recognize a marriage in the eyes of the community. In an area where a Catholic priest may have visited a Hispanic New Mexican village only once a year for the first 300 years after its founding, the Entrega de los Novios gave notice to community members that "this couple is promised to each other, and that their union should be supported" until such time as a visiting priest could make their marriage official in the eyes of the church. This "Entrega de los Novios" was performed by Cipriano Vigil in Albuquerque New Mexico on November 11, 2015, for the marriage of Noah Martinez and Leah Ferol. Part of the "Music Buena" exhibit opening October 6th, 2019 at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, NM and running for the next two years.
In the late 1800's the mountains of Northern New Mexico were visited each summer by hundreds of sheepherders, each with a flock of more than a thousand sheep. Today, Antonio and Molly Manzanares run the last such flock. Limited by government regulations, a lack of young ranchers willing to take on the work, and a flood of cheap lamb and wool from overseas, Antonio and Molly have to ask themselves: "Will we be the last?"
"Las Posadas" is a traditional Hispanic Christmas play that follows Joseph and Mary as they search for an Inn, or "Posada" where Mary can safely give birth. Enacted in Northern New Mexico for the last 400 years, here, on the Santa Fe Plaza, this ancient tradition is carried on by the Santa Cruz de la Cañada performers just before Christmas of 2018. Part of the "Music Buena" exhibit opening October 6th, 2019 at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, NM and running for the next two years.
"Las Posadas" is a traditional Hispanic Christmas play that follows Joseph and Mary as they search for an Inn, or "Posada" where Mary can safely give birth. Enacted in Northern New Mexico for the last 400 years, here, in the village of Ojo Caliente, Cipriano Vigil Jr and his family perform this ancient tradition for a group of neighbors and family in the days leading up to Christmas Eve 2018. Part of the "Music Buena" exhibit opening October 6th, 2019 at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, NM and running for the next two years.
"Dar los Días" has been a traditional way of ringing in the New Year in Hispanic Northern New Mexico for hundreds of years. On January 1st 2019, amidst a driving snowstorm, Bernie Torres and the Costilla Ramblers sing in the New Year in the tiny village of Cerro New Mexico. Part of the "Music Buena" exhibit opening October 6th, 2019 at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, NM and running for the next 2 years.
Francisco "El Comanche" Gonzales leads Los Comanches de la Serna in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, as they celebrate the birth of Christ on New Year's Day 2019. In the middle of a snowstorm, for twelve long hours, they drum, sing and dance their way around their community. Part of the "Music Buena" exhibit opening October 6th 2019 at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, NM.
Lara Manzanares is a singer songwriter whose music reflects a deep connection to the land and culture of Northern New Mexico. In this short film made by Lucia Duncan for the "Musica Buena" exhibit at Santa Fe's Museum of International Folk Art, (which runs through 2021) Lara draws on musical memories that range from Varsovianas performed by her great grandfather Eleuterio Martinez, to Alabados sung at the Penitente Morada in Abiquiu.
"Medica" Camilla Trujillo collects herbs she finds around Santa Cruz Farm, including "torito" (goatshead), "malva" (blue mallow) and rose petals. She boils them into a strong tea to infuse fresh lard and beeswax, making a creamy and effective herbal muscle balm.
In the highland rainforest, four hours Northeast of Oaxaca, and just outside of the Zapotec
village of San Cristobal Lachirioag, Edgar Gonzalez is recovering an ancient tradition while
combatting the culture destroying loss of young people from his community. At his homegrown
"palenque" or distillery, he, his family, and a growing group of workers are again handcrafting
the sacred spirit of their forefathers- Mezcal!
With agaves grown from the seeds of five wild varieties found in the surrounding forest, a still
built near the ruins of a “palenque” abandoned in the jungle for more than one hundred years,
wild yeast from the surrounding tropical fruit trees, and Zapotec blessings, the resulting mezcal
is a local, sustainably produced product, that is distributed internationally, while inspiring a
renaissance in traditional village based commerce and employment.
For more about Tosba Mezcal: mezcaltosba.com
Natividad Manzanares is known for making the best Bizcochitos in Northern New Mexico. The humble Bizcochito cookie has traditionally been made for Christmas, weddings, and special occasions for the past four hundred years! (Visit thewisdomarchive.com to help keep videos about traditional culture coming to youtube!)
Cipriano Vigil was born in 1941, in the Northern New Mexico town of Chamisal. From the age of
eight, he would badger the local “Resolaneros” - musicians practicing outdoors along the sunny
side of a house- to teach him songs and the guitar. During the ensuing sixty eight years,
Cipriano has collected the encyclopedia of Northern New Mexico music, learned to play over
three hundred instruments, performed at the Smithsonian Institution and all over the United
States, and written Northern New Mexico anthems that qualify him as a true voice of his people.
To Purchase Cipriano’s book, “New Mexican Folk Music: Treasures of a People”, Music CDS,
Cigar Box Guitars, or to arrange a Cigar Box Guitar Workshop, please contact him at:
newmexicofolktreasure.com, or email him at email@example.com.
Antonia Apodaca, 93, and Cipriano Vigil, 76, are the two eldest and best known masters of
traditional Northern New Mexico music. Both are New Mexico State Treasures, and both have
performed separately all over New Mexico and the United States, and on several occasions at
the Smithsonian Institution. Friends for over thirty five years, they have never played together.
Over the course of an afternoon, jamming together for the first time, they teach each other new
(but old) songs, play traditional favorites, and have a great time!
To contact Cipriano Vigil: firstname.lastname@example.org
For over sixty years the Lord of Olinda has been a beloved character of Olinda Brazil's carnival. Interweaving scenes of his daily life and of carnival, this film explores the man behind the character. Screened at the Boston Latino Film Festival, Cine las Americas, public television in Brazil, and at Olinda's municipal theater.
"Recuerdo" captures a rare and exclusive look behind the scenes with renowned artist and Santero Nicholas Herrera of El Rito as he tends his land and paints in his studio. Recent winner of the New Mexico Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts, Herrera's life and work is an ongoing remembrance of the land, water, and artistic traditions of Northern New Mexico.
Directed by Christopher Beaver, at email@example.com
Every winter, following the migration of grey whales, tourists, scientists and conservationists descend upon the San Ignacio lagoon in Baja California, Mexico. Their presence, and the establishment of Latin America's largest biosphere reserve- brings profound change to the lagoon's small traditional fishing community. The elderly fisherman who first befriended a whale in 1978, Pachico Mayoral, and his grandson Antonio, navigate between the different points of view of locals and outsiders about the changes and what the future will bring. By filmmaker Lucia Duncan, awarded Best documentary at the Next Frame and U.Frame film festivals, and finalist at the Angelus and International Documentary Association Awards.
At 85, Mónica Sosaya is the "Grand Dame" of the annual Santa Fe New Mexico Traditional Spanish Market- the largest market for Spanish Colonial Art in the world. A master Santera (painter of saints) and Colchera (traditional Spanish colonial needleworker) Monica has produced hundreds of artworks for museums and private collections, while mentoring many in the traditional Spanish Colonial arts of Northern New Mexico. Music by Lone Piñon, www.lonepinon.com
Rita Padilla Haufmann is an acknowledged master weaver of traditional Rio Grande style rugs.
She is also one of the few remaining weavers who hand cards, spins, and dyes all her yarn
using only natural pigments, many gathered from her Northern New Mexico environment.
Any questions? Rita can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jesus Maria Sanchez is one of the last Colombian Cabuyeros- farmers who grow and harvest the Cabuya, or Sisal plant, whose extracted fibers have long been the basis of traditional rope making. Marta Nelly Ramirez is one of the last artesanal rope and lariat makers, braiding the sisal fibers sourced from farmers like Jesus Maria into beautiful and strong working works of art. A first film from the Colombian filmmaking team of María Camila Gómez and Andrés Felipe Corredor, it weaves beautiful images of the Colombian countryside with poignant words from these last of the ropemakers.
Monica Sosaya, at 85, is the "Grand Dame" of Santa Fe New Mexico's annual Traditional
Spanish Market. She is an acknowledged master of the traditional colonial Spanish needlework
called "Colcha" and has taught generations of new "Colcheras". In this video, she teaches the
basic Colcha stitch, and shows some of her work and basic Colcha patterns to a beginning
At 80, Eurgencio Lopez is still living the life led by his great grandfather, the famous carver Jose
Dolores Lopez. One of the few who still have grazing rights in the Sangre de Cristo mountains
high above his small Northern New Mexico town of Cordova, he tends a small herd of cattle by
summer, and carves Santos during the long nights of winter.
Follow Camilla Trujillo through the arid landscape west of Española New Mexico as as she searches for wild fall herbs to use in her traditional remedios. She finds Garra, (Herb of the Virgin), Escoba de la Vibora(Broom Snakeweed), Cota, and Blue Trumpet. For traditional hispanic remedios and advice, contact Camilla @ email@example.com
Follow Camilla Trujillo as she searches for wild spring herbs to use in her traditional medicamentos and recipes of Northern New Mexican cuisine. She finds scorpion weed, primrose, mormon tea, wild onion and chimaja, an ancient herb used in the preparation of beans. For traditional hispanic herbal remedios and advice, contact Camilla at firstname.lastname@example.org
At Las Golondrinas Living Museum near Santa Fe New Mexico, lies the last operating Spanish Colonial flour mill. Constructed by Jose de la Luz Barela in the village of Truchas, New Mexico in 1873, this traditional Hispanic horizontal water wheel powered grist mill was purchased and moved to Las Golondrinas in 1968. Reassembled there by Lauriano Córdova, today his grandson Lauriano operates the mill, demonstrating it's sophisticated simplicity to visitors and his grandson, Ravi.
Its the spring of 1999, near the town of Sarlat in the Dordogne region of France. Monsieur
Gonzales, an elderly local farmer, demonstrates his skill as a "Plieur de Codre", as he shapes
young saplings into the flexible wooden bands traditionally used to hoop cognac barrels in
France. A skill, which today, is all but extinct.